Acrylic on canvas. 84 x 84 cm. Framed. Signed 'Vasarely-'. Signed, dated, and titled 'Vasarely "Kass - II" 1973 Vasarely' verso on canvas with work number and dimensions. - Minor traces of age.
"Seeing is thematised in a haunting way. Seeing is experienced as resistance. The analysis of the works show that Vasarely introduces methods which stimulate our perception, confuse, hold the tension. The essence of optical art is based on this activation of seeing. The pictorial tools become so prominent that they seem at times to oust the picture itself. Perceptual stimulants have always been used by art. […] In one sense, Vasarely's square 'unité plastique' correlates to the 'point' of Neoimpressionism. However, Vasarely hives off his grid since it no longer serves to build a representation. It is formally and iconographically self-sufficient." (Werner Spies, Victor Vasarely, Cologne 1971, p.127f.)
As Vasarely began to focus intensively on optical phenomenon in the 1940s and 1950s, he worked with the strongest possible light contrasts and used almost exclusively black, white and grey. With the present work "Kass-II" from 1973, the artist has returned to this reduced design tool after years of concentrating on intense colouration. The black rectangle, which constantly rotates around its own axis in funnel-like rows which shorten towards the centre of the picture, stands in more or less stark contrast to the gradually alternating grey tones of the background. The beholder's eye automatically begins to wander across the picture field in the vain attempt to comprehend and collate the structural form as a whole. A suction effect occurs, rectangular shapes and background seem to move against each other.
We are grateful to Pierre Vasarely, Aix-en-Provence, for the confirmation of authenticity, via email dated 22.04.2019.
Galerie Semiha Huber, Zurich (stamp verso); private collection, Switzerland